Oliver Twist - “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens

A Comprehensive Analysis of Literary Protagonists - Sykalo Evgen 2023

Oliver Twist - “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens

A Thorough Character Analysis of Oliver Twist

Charles Dickens' timeless classic Oliver Twist examines the grim reality of Victorian England in the 19th century. In order to understand Oliver Twist, the main character, better, we will examine his personality, his place in the story, and the significant influence he has on its themes.

Character Type Identification

One could categorize Oliver Twist as a dynamic figure. He is an innocent and naive orphan at the start of the novel, but as it progresses, he goes through a lot of growth and change. His life experiences mold him, testing his worldview and values.

Examine the Character's Position in the Narrative

Without a doubt, Oliver is the story's main character. The tale is propelled forward by his travel, both literal and figurative. Being a representation of virtue and purity, he goes through many hardships that show the harsh reality of society, which serves as a spark for social commentary in Dickens's writing.

Analyze the Past of the Character

Knowing Oliver's past is essential to comprehending his personality. He was raised in a workhouse and became an orphan at a young age, facing hardships like abuse and neglect. His vulnerability and the difficulties he experiences are greatly increased by his lack of ties to his family and his status as an orphan.

Examine Personality Traits of the Character

Oliver's purity of heart, integrity, and steadfast moral compass define him. He retains his sense of decency and generosity in spite of his struggles. He is an endearing character because of his humility and sincere care for people. But his innocence also leaves him open to abuse.

Assess the Characters' Interactions

Oliver's connections shed light on his own growth. His friendly interactions with Mr. Brownlow and Nancy stand in stark contrast to his adversarial ones with Bill Sikes and Fagin. Oliver's interactions with these people serve as mirrors, reflecting various facets of his character and the society he lives in.

Examine the Behavior of the Character

Oliver acts out of a sense of intrinsic kindness as much as a desire to fit in and find his place. His choice at the workhouse to request more gruel paves the way for later developments that bring him into contact with the criminal underworld and ultimately determine his fate. He always acts in a way that is compatible with his moral values.

Determine the Conflicts of the Character

Oliver is dealing with both external and internal issues. He struggles with issues of identity and belonging on the inside. He has to deal with the harsh reality of exploitation, crime, and poverty on the outside. These confrontations advance the story and aid in Oliver's development.

Evaluate Any Changes or Growth in the Character

Oliver develops significantly during the narrative. His experiences in the shady underbelly of society make him doubt the goodness he had always assumed to be present in everyone. The pivotal periods in his development, including his time spent with Fagin's gang and the discovery of his true ancestry, are noteworthy.

Provide Evidence to Back Up Your Analysis

Oliver naively asked for extra gruel, saying, "Please, sir, I want some more."
- His interactions with Nancy and Mr. Brownlow demonstrate his ability to build deep bonds.
- Oliver's moral resilience is demonstrated by his opposition to Fagin's illicit actions.

Conclude on the Significance of the Character

The relevance of Oliver Twist goes beyond his role as a protagonist in a book. Dickens uses him as a platform to criticize social inequalities, especially how the poor and orphans are treated. Oliver's steadfast goodness in the face of hardship forces readers to consider the structural problems the narrative portrays.


Charles Dickens creates a powerful figure in Oliver Twist named Oliver, whose path offers a moving critique of the social injustices prevalent in his day. Oliver is a timeless representation of fortitude and virtue because of his relationships, moral compass, and dynamic personality, all of which enhance the story's depth. Readers are challenged to consider the ongoing significance of societal concerns and the capacity of compassion to transform in the face of hardship via Oliver's perspective.